14 Feb 2011

King's Speech reigns at BAFTA awards

10:09 pm on 14 February 2011

The King's Speech has won the award for best film in the BAFTA awards in Britain.

Colin Firth, who plays the stammering King George VI, took the award for best actor.

Co-stars Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush won best supporting actress and best supporting actor.

Bonham Carter thanked the Royal family in her acceptance speech at the ceremony in London on Sunday.

The King's Speech won seven awards including outstanding British film, best score and best original screenplay.

The film is about the friendship that develops between the King and an unorthodox Australian speech therapist played by Rush.

Natalie Portman won the best actress award for her portrayal of Nina, a tortured ballerina, in Black Swan.

Portman is heavily pregnant and did not attend the awards, but was praised by director Darren Aronofsky for her dedication to the role.

Firth, 50, also won the best actor BAFTA last year for A Single Man.

The BBC reports he is the first to win the best actor award for two consecutive years since the late Rod Steiger did so with The Pawnbroker in 1967 and In the Heat of the Night in 1968.

Science fiction film Inception won three awards. The Social Network, a drama about Facebook also won three, including best director.

Christopher Lee was honoured with the Academy's prestigious Fellowship, receiving a standing ovation as he took to the stage.